Thursday, August 23, 2007

EHV-5 linked to new Respiratory Disease

There is a new Respiratory disease that presents like "Heaves" in the horse. This condition may have been around for a while but not identified as a separate clinical entity until now.
"Equine multi nodular pulmonary fibrosis is characterized by coalescing nodules (scaring) in the alveoli of the lungs. Clinical signs include a low-grade fever,weight loss and progressive respiratory disease that is often mistaken for heaves or bacterial pneumonia, but doesn't respond to therapy". Dr Kurt Williams DVM Dipl ACVP at Michigan State University connected the disease with EHV-5 when he found viral inclusion bodies in cells obtained of the affected tissue. As of now it is not known if this is a new variant of EHV-5 or the common strain. Corticosteroids are the treatment of choice but an accurate diagnosis is required since steroids could make bacterial or fungal pneumonia worse. The diagnosis is made via a bronchial alveolar lavage (BAL) and percutaneous lung biopsy. A paper on 24 cases will be published this year in Veterinary Pathology.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Mysterious Camel deaths in Saudi Arabia

About 250 camels have died in a 4 day period in Saudi Arabia in the Dawasir Valley. From an Epidemiology standpoint....that's a lot in a short amount of time. The Saudi Government is pointing towards contaminated feed whereas camel owners/traders ( mostly Bedouin herders) think it's something infectious. There has been concern in the Middle east about the H5N1 "bird Flu" and it has been found twice this year. I always look at mass deaths with concern as was the case of the recent Foot and Mouth disease outbreak in England. In that case it was a security breach from a local lab and may have even been deliberate. It is still under investigation. I doubt this outbreak in Saudi was FMD as the animals died so fast, this points to either poison,toxin or a very serious infectious agent(ie. Botulism, Viral (encephalitis, influenza) . They are asking for outside help and my guess is that the CDC already has samples in Atlanta. With the rapid transit of pathogens I watch for these outbreaks as they could always be our problem next year.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Hotdoggin...Polly workin' her new board

Had a great weekend but even with small waves the kids (and myself) had a great time. Polly is really getting her new board wired. Since it was breaking in fairly shallow water she really had to work on her bottom turn so she didn't eat it. We did a mini-surf camp with most of my nieces and nephews there. It turned into a 4 hour surf session. Beth's brother Robert got some great photos of them...some were quite funny.